Patient-centred care and nurses' health: The role of nurses' caring orientation

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Title. Patient-centred care and nurses' health: the role of nurses' caring orientation. Aim. This paper is a report of a study of the moderating effect of caring orientation on the relationship of patient-centred care to nurses' physical and mental health. Background. Providing effective patient-centred care is well-accepted as an important contributor to a host of patients' health outcomes. Based on two theoretical perspectives - person-environment fit and emotional labour - I suggest that providing patient-centred care per se does not potentially harm nurses' health; the cause is the fit (or non-fit) of a nurse's caring orientation and the displayed patient-centred care behaviours. Method. Data were collected in 2007 with a random sample of 325 registered nurses working in the Israeli public healthcare sector in in-patient units. Caring orientation, health and control variables were measured via validated questionnaires. Patient-centred care behaviours were assessed by structured observations. Results. The mental health of nurses who exhibited high caring orientation combined with high patient-centred care, or that of nurses who exhibited low caring orientation combined with low patient-centred care, was statistically significantly higher in comparison with the mental health of nurses who exhibited incongruent (low/high or high/low) caring orientation and patient-centred care behaviours. For nurses' physical health, the findings revealed that providing patient-centred care was associated with worsened health, and possessing a caring orientation was associated with better health. Conclusions. The findings support the hypotheses that were derived from person-environment fit and emotional labour only with regard to mental health. Separate theory needs to be developed on how to maintain nurses' physical health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1463-1474
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2009


  • Caring orientation
  • Nurses' health
  • Observations
  • Patient-centred care
  • Questionnaire
  • Role

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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